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Policies & Support Documents

Please see also Guidelines for Allowable Research Expenses and CAS Committee/Service pages.

CAS-specific policies and documents are now shared in the CAS Dean's Office OneDrive space (login required). They contain information including but not limited to

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that externally funded research projects may have different parameters and requirements for research and travel expenses.

The College only reimburses hotel and per diem expenses for faculty travel to locations and sites more than 50 miles away from American University.

The College will reimburse University employees for meals and incidental expenses while on travel up to the lower of 1) the U.S. Government Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) per diem for the travel location or 2) $100 per day. On days that the traveler leaves home or returns home, she/he may claim up to the lower of 1) 75% of the U.S. Government M&IE per diem for the travel location or 2) $75 for the day.

For meals where there are five or fewer attendees, please record the names of the attendees in order to be reimbursed for the meal. For meals of more than five attendees, please record the number of attendees in order to be reimbursed for the meal. In both cases you will need to be clear about the business purpose of the meal.
If you are planning on making non-standard arrangements related to personal travel before, during, or after a research trip, please contact the CAS Budget Team at

Please note that in order to be reimbursed for conference travel all tenured and tenure-track faculty must present or have a formal role in the conference such as being a member of the organizing or programming committee, a discussant, or the chair of a session. Please provide documentation with any reimbursements for these expenses.

For small cash expenses, please note that the expense was paid for in cash on the receipt or other documentation of the expense.


The College will reimburse only standard economy class fare. Travelers on international flights where one flight segment (time in the air) is longer than five hours may fly economy plus or business class.
All receipts in a foreign language should be translated into English. Reimbursements of foreign currency will be for the amount in USD for the date the purchase was made. Please work with your department administrator to include the appropriate dated documentation for each transaction. Many faculty and staff use the website OANDA which provides a dated currency converter which can be saved as a PDF to document the conversion between foreign currency and USD as of the date you made the purchase.

If the receipt is for a small expense (under $25), such as a taxi, you can document the expense on a blank receipt form (templates available online). If the expense is for something more substantial, such as an hotel or large meal, we do need an itemized receipt. Many hotels and restaurants will issue you a replacement if you request it from them. If you cannot get a replacement receipt and the expense is more than $25, please contact the CAS Budget Team at

The College reimburses mileage to and from your primary work location (AU) for travel outside of your regular duties. We ask that you use a mapping application/page to show the route and the exact mileage for your trip starting from AU, and include that with your reimbursement. If you had to pay tolls en route, please include a receipt or show where the toll appears on your EZPass statement. Parking can be reimbursed if you provide appropriate receipts.

Research Expense Accounts (REAs) are for faculty use only, however there are occasionally exceptions for individuals who are closely involved with the faculty member's research, with prior approval. Please contact the CAS Budget Team at if you would like to discuss your specific situation.

The University partners with KeyTravel. to provide an online tool for all airlines including Southwest, Jet Blue, and other independent carriers. If you plan to use KeyTravel to book your research flight, please notify and include in your email the research purpose of your trip, the funding source for the ticket, and if applicable the proof of presentation at the conference. Our team must have this information at least 24 hours before you plan to book your flight so that the flight can be approved within the required window. The University Travel Services website has more information about World Travel.

If you need access to BI for reporting on your externally sponsored research awards, please send an email to requesting 'Research Grants Reports' access in BI for your specified grant project code (please see your Sponsored Project Brief for this 5 digit number - e.g., 3XXXX).

If you need training on BI after you have access to the Research Grants Reports module, there are courses available through ASuccessfulU in the myAU portal.

Airfare and conference registration can be reimbursed before a trip is taken. But faculty members will need to provide adequate documentation of the research purpose at that time, including proof of presentation as necessary. Accommodations, rail travel, mileage, and per diem are reimbursed after the travel has been taken.

Proof of travel is required for all trips. If you have receipts for accommodations, taxis, or other expenses while you are away, those will serve as the proof of travel for the trip. If there were no receipts from the location you traveled to, we do ask that you provide something that shows that you went to that location during the time you had planned. Most faculty members will keep a picture of their boarding pass, and that is adequate documentation for our purposes. Boarding passes are not required for every reimbursement, but you are welcome to provide them as easy proof of travel.

Per the University's Travel Policy Section 3i: AU has discounted car rental rates with Enterprise and Avis Rental Cars. These rates are lower than comparable rates with other major rental car companies and utilize education consortium discounts. Travelers should us a rental car when other transportation is not available or when their use results in a cost savings. The size of the rental car should be the least expensive model (compact) consistent with the number of travelers, the business requirements of the trip, and safety of passenger...Travelers should decline the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and the Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) option, supplemental liability coverage, personal accident insurance and other additional insurance options when renting a car for business purposes. Such coverage is provided under the University's insurance policies and is not reimbursable. 

Please see the University Travel policy for any further questions.


Don't want to keep track of paper receipts? No worries! Just take a picture for us!

See also:
Controller's Forms & Resources